Friday, July 10, 2015

July 9, 2015. In Anchorage.

Again this morning we put on bike clothes, hoping for the best... We all had breakfast together and Joanna took a photo for us: Dianne, Brian, me and Bella.  I drove Brian to the lagoon where he'd seen a rare bird yesterday and hadn't had his camera with him. He insisted we leave him there, so we did, 50 pound camera pack and all. He leaves today for his home in Scotland.

By the time Dianne and I got back to the B & B it was starting to rain a little. The weather app on my phone told me it would clear up by 10 AM so we played a few games of Scrabble. At one point Bella looked over my shoulder and said "what are the diamonds for?" I let her know she gave away my hand.... Finally it lightened up outside and Dianne and I got on the bikes we borrowed from Joanna.

First we attempted to get on the Chester Creek Trail, found it under construction and tried to go around it. We ended up on the University of Alaska Anchorage Campus, rode around there for a long time, passing Providence Hospital at least twice... Finally I asked a young woman on a bike how to get to the Coastal Trail. She said "follow me" and proceeded to lead us back to the Chester Creek Trail! A man told us the trail was only under construction in one area. Wrong again!  We started out where he told us (in photo above) but did not get very far before we ran into large machines on the trail and had to get off. By now we'd been on the bikes about 2 hours.

Above is a photo of my bike for the day, when we arrived back close to where we started this morning. I sat in the grass and looked at the map again, and we took the busy streets with bike lanes to try to get to the Coastal Trail.  After another hour of riding we got on the Campbell Creek Trail, thinking we would take it in the direction of the Coastal Trail.

The section we were on brought us back up on the street in the vicinity of C Street and Dimond. It was a bit confusing and we went the wrong way on Dimond. It started drizzling, and when I realized we were going the wrong way (again) we went to a cafĂ© and had lunch.  After lunch we had no more trouble getting there. But just after we entered Kincaid Park Dianne felt a twinge in the back of her leg. She'd been riding all day on a bike that was too small and it took its toll; she told me she was done. I asked a very nice young lady on the bike path if she had any idea how we could get Dianne back to the B & B and she kindly said she lived nearby and would give her a ride home.

I was about a mile from the end of the bike path and the beginning of the Coastal Trail when I left Dianne. The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail is a very nice paved trail that runs for about 10 miles, in and out of the woods right along the waterfront.

I stopped at Earthquake Park and read again about the earthquake and tsunami that occurred here in 1964. The trail had just enough hills on it to make it interesting!

There were plenty of warning signs about the deadly mud flats and some warnings about keeping away from the edge of the bluff.

The trail ended at the lagoon where I'd dropped Brian off this morning. There was another bike trail that was supposed to take me toward home, but it was under construction (it is a really short construction season here).

I found my way easily once I saw that I was at a number and a letter street. Great system! I was very glad to get home.

Dianne and I played a couple of games of Scrabble and then went downtown to dinner. She ordered crab, saying that was one thing she could not miss eating while in Alaska!

We finished our dinner and wine and walked around a little since we still had time on our parking meter. We walked down the hill to Alaska Railroad and looked a little closer at the "moose gooser" our guide told us about yesterday--similar to the old cow catchers used on old locomotives, this one has a front shelf to gently nudge moose out of the way of the larger engine pulling the train.

We walked back up the hill and stopped at the Eisenhower monument; it commemorates the day President Eisenhower approved Alaska as the 49th state.

We walked down 4th Street so Dianne could look for something she saw yesterday in one of the shops, but she was not sure which shop... after 3 of them it was really time to go home.

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